The South African Civil Society for Women’s Adolescents’ and Children’s Health (SACSoWACH) hosted a roundtable discussion to encourage better implementation of the Code of Good Practice for breastfeeding in the workplace, in an effort to create enabling environments for breastfeeding in the workplace.
The event comes after a recent discovery that while women constitute close to half of the South African workforce (44%), the vast majority do not receive adequate maternity protection, support or facilities to promote breastfeeding.*
Held at the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, in Pretoria, the event included panellists from the Departments of Labour, Health, Social Development, Universities, Civil Society organisations and the Private Sector.
Here, the panel and attendees discussed the importance of breastfeeding in support of children’s health development and to ensure sustainable social and economic development, and the very real difficulties that women face in the workplace every day. Practical and easy ways for employers to better support breastfeeding mothers were also explored.
Opening proceedings Professor Linda Richter, highlighted that if breastfeeding had been invented today, it would receive a Nobel Peace Prize, as an economic and development imperative.